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Falcons claw to win over Jets in NFL’s return to London

The Atlanta Falcons routed the New York Jets 27-20 on Sunday morning in the NFL’s return to London after a one-year hiatus.  

Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan had ice in his veins as the Falcons dominated the first half, going up 17-0 before Jets’ kicker Matt Amendola was able to get New York on the board before ending the half down 20-3. 

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Rookie Zach Wilson struggled with his accuracy, failing to make short — yet critical — passes. He finished 19 of 32 for 192 yards and no touchdowns with one interception.

“I wouldn’t say it’s preparation at all. I’d say the guys are ready. I would just say it’s a block that we’ve got to get over,” Wilson told reporters after the game. “We started the first game or two with a bad first half so [today] kind of hit the same trend.”

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst (81) leaps over a tackle during the second half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst (81) leaps over a tackle during the second half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.
(AP Photo/Ian Walton)

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An offensive push in the second half looked promising for the Jets after rushing touchdowns from Ty Johnson and Michael Carter. A two-point conversion by Jamison Crowder put the Jets at 20-17 with just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter but the Falcons would essentially seal the game with a 75-yard drive and a three-yard dash by Mike Davis. 

New York Jets running back Michael Carter (32), top center, celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.

New York Jets running back Michael Carter (32), top center, celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.
(AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Amendola kicked a 49-yard field goal after missing an extra point earlier in the game but a failed onside kick recovery would turn the ball back over to the Falcons, ending the game 27-20. 

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“We gotta get out of that trend of starting bad,” Wilson continued. “We gotta do well the whole game. We can’t keep trying to come from behind. The NFL is too hard to always come from behind.” 

Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts was a key factor in Atlanta’s victory, with nine receptions for 119 yards and his first career touchdown. Ryan was 33 of 45 for 342 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. 

Atlanta Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins (32) celebrates making an interception during the first half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.

Atlanta Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins (32) celebrates making an interception during the first half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, England, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021.
(AP Photo/Ian Walton)

Both teams enter a bye week. The Jets will return on Oct. 24 to play the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium while the Falcons travel to Miami.

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